Monthly Archives: October 2009

Peanut Butter Hide-Aways

One year during exams, Caroline made me a batch of these cookies and I must confess that I probably ate most of them without sharing. Thankfully stress increases metabolism and it seemed to have no ill-effects on my body at the time!

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This past weekend, my mum, Caroline and I made a trip to the States and stocked up on a few kitchen essentials (ie. butter, mini peanut butter cups) that are much cheaper.  So I decided to put my purchases to good use and made these for the bf but also took some into work yesterday. I like to take things to work that are easy to eat while taking a mini break from the busy-ness that is our pharmacy.

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Treats for my co-workers!

Peanut Butter Hide-Aways
From Company’s Coming Most Loved Treats by Jean Pare

1/2 cup Hard marg (or butter), softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (I always use less salt than they call for)

36 mini peanut butter cups (Note: it is best to remove the wrappers once you know how many cookies you will be making so that they are ready to go when the dough comes out of the oven)

Beat first 4 ingredients in large bowl until light and creamy. Add egg and beat well. Combine next 4 ingredients in small bowl. Add to marg mixture. Stir until just moistened. Dough will be stiff (note: my dough was not stiff but the cookies turned out just right anyways). Roll into 36 balls, using 1 tbsp for each. Place 1 ball in each mini-muffin cup. Bake at 375F for about 10 minutes until puffy and golden.     Remove and discard foil cup from peanut butter cups (see note above regarding doing this earlier so as not to panic like I did!). Press 1 peanut buttter cup into each hot cookie. Loosen edges of cookies with tip of knife. Chill for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Makes approximately 36 cookies (I never get the quantity of cookies they tell me it will make.. does that happen to other people?).

I must say, there is nothing better than a good Jean Pare recipe to make me a happy girl. I bought a mini-muffin pan just to make these (I’m sure at some point I will make mini muffins, or whatever else one might make in such a pan). If you don’t have the pan, I suggest going out right away to buy one!

Pumpkin-Chocolate-Chip Squares

Our mum doesn’t like pumpkin and therefore it wasn’t until about 3 or 4 years ago that I discovered pumpkin. It all started with Starbucks of all places, at Christmas of all times. Caroline and I were in the middle of some boxing day shopping and we stopped for a drink and decided to try the pumpkin scone. It was delicious and so began my appreciation for pumpkin (though I’m still not a big fan of the pie).

Caroline mentioned in the last post that she had some more yummy recipes to bring you from the can of pumpkin she opened. Last weekend when we were home for Thanksgiving I enjoyed the squares she made and had planned on bringing some home with me. But of course, I forgot the box of goodies. So I decided to whip some up with some pumpkin I had in the freezer. I brought them to work and they were a hit. Even one of the pharmacists who seems to have an “allergy” to many foods asked for the recipe!

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I have made these squares a couple of times now and have requests for more. I only ever make them in the fall but I think I might start baking them other times too! Poor pumpkin, it gets forgotten for too much of the year.

The recipe can be found here. Thanks to Martha Stewart and I would suggest you make these in the coming week or two as a Halloween treat!  I didn’t make any changes other than a few less chocolate chips but when Caroline made them she used mini chips and that worked well too!

Pumpkin Biscuits TWD

OK, so I know that this week’s recipe was supposed to be sweet potato biscuits, but I have a thing for pumpkin so I changed it up a little. This recipe was chosen by Erin of Prudence Pennywise. I notice that her biscuits are light and fluffy looking, unlike mine which are neither, light nor fluffy. That being said mine were super tasty. I used a cup of canned pumpkin and I added an extra tablespoon of brown sugar (’cause I like sweetness!).

Hmmm, pumpkin scones

Hmmm, pumpkin scones

Obviously, I need to work these to get to the light and fluffy place but all in all there were super tasty. Hmm, pumpkin.

Pumpkin Muffins

Once you open a can of pumpkin you are committed. The ones I end up buying have over three cups in them, which means three different pumpkin treats. I usually pick one thing that I want to make and then scrounge around finding recipes to finish off the can with. Last week though, I had two recipes that I needed to make so I only had to scrounge for one. This is it. Don’t get me wrong, I love muffins, but I sure wouldn’t open a can for them. But for a third choice, these are pretty good. Hopefully there will be posts coming on choices one and two;)

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The best part about making these was that I got to try out my new square muffin tin. I got it in the summer (such as it was here in Ontario) but never got around to using it. Square is the new round in my books.

Pumpkin Muffins adapted from Company’s Coming Muffins & More (nothing wrong with Jean!)

1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chocolate chips (The “real” recipe called for raisins but seriously chocolate is better)
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

Combine first 8 ingredients. Mix together and then make a well in the middle. Then in another bowl, whisk egg. Add in sugar, butter, pumpkin and milk and mix well. Pour into the flour. Mix until blended, don’t over-stir. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for five minutes then remove from pan. Serve warm or not.

Allspice Crumb Muffins TWD

Remember when I made those September resolutions? I was supposed to be done my baking before Tuesday. Well, I have to confess to a September Resolution fail. This past weekend was Thanksgiving and I fully intended to bake these at my parent’s house, with Claire. But not all good intentions come to fruition and this was one of them. So then I decided I was going to bake them yesterday. However, Toronto grocery stores are not open on Thanksgiving and my local Shoppers Drug Mart didn’t quite have all the ingredients I needed. Thus, I hastily made these tonight. Please forgive the crappy photo.

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Thanks to Katye of Grandma’s Kitchen Table for picking this week’s recipe. It was great to have a recipe that didn’t require special indgredients and I have to say I love muffins. Katye must be extra excited because Dorie posted about TWD today too! Since I was a little late on the baking I haven’t actually tried the muffins, I am being very obedient as Dorie recommends that you wait until they cool but they look great and the strusel is delish!

Sour Cream Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips

Back in the day I lived in Waterloo with Joy, Pam and Kristin. We had a couch in our kitchen and spent MANY hours there, drinking tea and trying to solve our problems and everyone else’s. There were white boards where we kept track of our Myer’s Briggs personalities and friends’ phone numbers and there was brown paper on the wall where we wrote random quotes, lists and posted pictures. Basically, it was a great house. One day Joy brought home a recipe for a sour cream banana cake and our lives (OK my life) have never been the same since.  We baked this cake for friends and ourselves, we took it camping, it was a go-to recipe and it remains my FAVORITE cake.

My favorite cake

My favorite cake

We were fortunate enough to all be together this past weekend. Joy lives on the west coast but she was in town for a conference. In honour of Joy’s visit I threw a party. My apartment is MUCH smaller than our house was but it didn’t matter. We had a great evening and of course, it would have been wrong not to serve up the cake. I was so consumed with the party that I didn’t take a picture so I managed to grab a shot on Sunday. Disclosure: I ate that huge peice after I took a picture of it, as I said this is my favorite.

Sour Cream Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2.5 cups mashed bananas
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips (as you all can imagine I use milk but Pam, Joy and Kristin probably use semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an angel food pan or a 9 x 13 or a large bundt pan. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and bananas and mix well. In a separate bowl combine four, baking powder and baking soda. Mix alternatively the dry ingredients and the sour cream into the banana mixture. Pour half the batter into pan. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips and sprinkle over the batter. Cover with remaining batter. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean (if you are using an angel food pan it will take longer). Allow to cool and ice with chocolate icing or not, it’s up to you.

The Marshall Street Crew

The Marshall Street Crew

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

I like baking for other people, it’s kinda my thing. I mean don’t get me wrong, I like baking for myself but really how much baked goods can a single woman really eat? And thus, baking for others is advisable. I went over to a  friend’s for dinner a few weeks ago and since I couldn’t arrive empty handed (I was being cooked for after all) I decided to make some peanut butter squares. That and I think there was once a request for chocolate and peanut butter and let’s be honest, I take orders.

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Here is the recipe from One Ordinary Day

1/2 c. butter
1 3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 c. peanut butter (I used smooth but added some crunchy as well, I think it would actually be good with crunchy)
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. butter
2/3 c. milk chocolate chips (they are pretty much the only option in my mind but if you want I guess you could use semi-sweet or I guess if you are hardcore you could use fancy dark chocolate and grate it)

Melt butter and remove from heat. Add sugar to butter and stir. Add the peanut butter and graham crumbs and mix well. Press into 9×9 (or something close to that) pan lined with foil or parchment paper.

Melt 1/4 cup butter. Add chocolate chips and stir until chips are almost melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until mixture is smooth and shiny. Spread over squares. Refrigerate until set.